Cucchinadorza The Taloro watercourse, the main tributary of the Tirso, starts on Mt Fumai (1,315 m) and runs through age-old woods in the Barbagia, a land of shepherds and ancient traditions. After feeding the Gusana, Cucchinadorza and Benzone reservoirs, it flows into Lake Omodeo, marking the ends of its 60 km journey.
he itineraries described below, which can be down on foot, on horseback or even in a canoe, are all around Lake Cucchinadorza, making it possible to see and admire the wonderful scenery of this wild zone.
The surrounding landscape, set in a splendid natural context, is covered in thick Mediterranean scrubland that consists mainly of wild olive, cork, wild pear and durmast oak and some large pristine woods with holm oak, oleander and alder trees. There are also a few other plants to be seen, such as juniper and hawthorn. The area is home to numerous birds, including Bonelli’s eagle, the rare Sardinian goshawk and the Sardinian partridge as well as various herons, ducks and kites.
You might also see a buzzard soaring above the verdant landscape where wild boars and foxes shelter. These are not the only mammals though, with the pine marten, wild rabbit, Sardinian hare, hedgehog, weasel and the recently reintroduced fallow deer also living in the area.

Nature and history: the age-old charm of Teti

The village of Teti has a long history linked to the finds made in 1865 in the nuraghic village of Abini and the huts of S’Urbale. There are no certain records telling of the founding of the town: the most convincing theory says the name comes from the plant Smilax aspera, which is known in the local dialect as titione and is spread across the territory.
In the 19th century, the village became relatively well-known because of its location, on the mountains, the presence of various trees, such as holm oaks and cork trees, and the roughly 200 springs and 9 brooks that flowed into the Taloro and Tirso rivers. The woods were home to deer, fallow deer, foxes, hares and a whole range of birds. Today, Teti is a village with 839 inhabitants and an economy based on sheep-farming. An archaeology museum was opened in 1990 and displays the various bronze finds from Abini. Here, aside from the ceramic pieces, you can see the amazing reconstruction of a hut from the nuraghic village of S’Urbale. The Teti territory has a genuine wealth of elements of natural interest, both in terms of the plants and the animals that live there. The predominant vegetation is what could be termed ‘typical hill vegetation’ because of the relatively cold temperatures in winter and the long, quite dry summer.
The most common trees are the holm oak, cork tree and pubescent oak, although the chestnut also deserves a mention. There are also the typical bushes of the Mediterranean scrubland: the strawberry tree, mock privet, mastic, cistus, broom and so on. You can also see many of the endemic flowers that are also found in other parts of the island: Ornithogalum biflorum, Vinca sardoa, Crocus minimune, numerous vibrantly coloured orchids and so on. In terms of animals, the key players are the fox, wild boar and weasel, while the list of birds includes birds-of-prey like the golden eagle, kestrel, goshawk and buzzard. The Cucchinadorza reservoir is also rich in animal life. It lies about 9 km from the village on the SP (provincial) road to Olzai and it is the site of a hydroelectric power station.
The strategic position of the reservoir makes it look practically natural and thus increases its allure. The natural habitat here is thick wood, which favours the growth of mushrooms and makes this a popular location among people who love mushrooms and, especially, love searching for them. For the locals, mushrooms represent an important resource and, as such, have become an integral part of the local cuisine. The Teti territory is home to Abini, a nuraghe era sanctuary (8/7C BC). Much of the ruins are still underground in the valley formed by the river that runs into the Tirso valley. The first finds were made in 1865, when some shepherds, driven by recurring dreams, started to dig at Abini. They uncovered a variety of objects. The village has a surface area of 20,000 m2 and follows a stretch of land quite close to the river. It consists of 26 huts and a ‘fenced section for meetings’ that also has a sacred well. You can see some carefully made trachyte quoins (support structures) in the meeting area. The first real excavation of the archaeology site was carried out in 1930 by Taramelli, who found a notable amount of excellently made and well conserved nuraghic bronze.
This material is now on display in the archaeology museum in Cagliari. One of the most important events in the village is the Festa di Sant’Antonio (Feast of St Anthony), held on 15, 16 and 17 January. Originally, this started with prayers and the benediction of the fire, around which the festivities began. The following day, people would go to a special mass for the saint and everyone would take home a piece of blessed charcoal. These days, the lighting and blessing of the fire, which happens in the late afternoon, is followed by tasting of local products, dancing and other entertainment. A traditional cake, Su Bufulittu, is also prepared for the occasion.


In the heart of mountainous Sardinia, in a zone of valleys with numerous springs along the foot of the western slope of Gennargentu, Enel has created, in agreement with the Gavoi, Ollolai, Olzai, Ovodda, Teti and Tiana municipalities, some lovely nature trails in the area around the Taloro plant. The trails are dotted with wooden information panels that have been created to blend in to the surrounds and are never far from the plant. These panels make it possible for visitors to learn more about the trails as well as about how the Taloro hydroelectric power station works. In addition, Enel and various local bodies organise a range of sports events that are held along the shores of Lake Cucchinadorza.
Two of these events are a minimarathon and a horseback ride. The various trails make it possible to reach and then admire various places of particular natural and industrial importance. In a sense, these trails also have a cultural element in that they also make it possible to learn more about the environment and local history.

How to get there

Follow the SS131 road from Cagliari towards Nuoro and branch right at the junction at Ottana, towards Olzai. At the beginning of the village, turn right and follow the road towards Teti, Austis and Tiana. After about ten kilometres the road starts to run along the southern shore of Lake Cucchinadorza; some dirt roads run along the shores of the lake.

Useful addresses

Comune di Gavoi tel. 078453120.
Comune di Ollolai tel. 078451051.
Comune di Olzai tel. 078455001.
Comune di Ovodda tel. 078454023.
Comune di Teti tel. 078468023.
Comune di Tiana tel. 078469089.

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